• Member Since 25th Aug, 2012
  • offline last seen 13 hours ago

wYvern


Make every word count.

E
Source

While on a rescue mission, Twilight lands herself in a dead end from which none of her magic seems to help her out. All on her own, she has to face the prospect of perishing.

Cover Art by Ventious

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 20 )

Why do people keep on repeating this sad, tired premise?

'Character dies way before her time.'
'Character dies after everyone else does'
'Character dies in tragedy'
'Character dies in heroism'

IT'S BEEN DONE TO DEATH, FOR CELESTIA'S SAKE! AAUURRGH!

Although the premise may be overused, I liked how you went about it, although the ending was left open wide.

The punctuation and grammar all seem okay, and not one spelling error to be found. :twilightsmile:

I myself am on my first story, and seeing that this is your second one, well, I'm not necessarily a good critic but-

I like the story okay. :rainbowhuh:

2006430 I'm sorry it bored you. I have not read that many sad stories, and the idea for this one felt like something I wanted to do. I guess it is just such a sad concept that many people feel like it's the thing to do for sad? I don't know. If I had known that this was an overused idea, I don't think it would have changed my wish to write it, though. I guess it will happen to me in future, too--my main focus lies on execution, not premise. Thank you for your feedback, though. I prefer being caps-locked at to having dislikes without an explanation. :pinkiesmile:

2006770 Thank you for your feedback. I don't think a good critic needs to be a trained writer, but a trained reader, so your input is of no less value to me. Did you actually dislike the end being open? I thought it was not too open for those who wanted to wallow in Twilights demise, yet for those who really didn't want to see Twilight die, it left open a chance of last-second rescue.:twilightsheepish:

2008540

I just thought I'd play the devil's advocate there, sort of give you something to think about. All in an effort to help others improve their writing. :twilightblush:

So yeah, I actually did like the ending, leaving it all open to the reader, letting them create their idea of what happens to Twilight.

I'm highly interested in seeing what more you can do. :ajsmug:

Looks even better as an actual story than as a PM

I liked the open ended finish, though my own thoughts are that Twilight has perished.

It had a nice progression through Twilight's emotional states from hope to fear to acceptance.


I did manage to fine one more gramatical thing, the kind you would never notice until it is posted.

She had never heard of anyone teleporting over long distances before, and she doubt she would be the first one to pull it off.Summon a parasprite?

Needs an additional space before Summon.

Both of your stories have been excellent. I'm looking forward to your next story.

2009963 Thanks Fimbulvinter, the stories wouldn't have turned out as good without your contribution. :pinkiesmile:

2006430 A smart man said once that there's nothing new in art except talent. You may want to rethink your understanding of 'art' and 'science'.

@Author
Carry on. You seem to bring many good things into your writing. You know, effort, life, talent and so on. When you keep this up while keeping improving at certain points, like length and planning, I clearly could see you developing into a feature-box'ing writer. :raritywink:

2015448 Thank you for your kind words, I will carry on, and improve... I hope. My next story will indeed be a multi-chapter thing, though I'm not too fond of planning I have to admit. I like being suprised by what the characters do when they come to life, which is what I try to make them do. Well, that sounds a little hypocritical after having just killed one. :twilightblush:

This review is brought to you by the group Authors Helping Authors.

Grammar score:
7/10. I see mistakes every so often, but the majority of it is all right.

Pros:
- You do a fantastic job of conveying characters' thoughts and emotions. Without using any dialogue, and only a few lines of italicized thought text, you manage to show us exactly what Twilight is feeling, and why.
- Vivid details. You put a lot of effort into making readers see the scenery, even though you tend to go overboard at times. Good descriptions keep the writing alive and with substance. Try to find the fine line with not enough detail and overly flowery language.
- A wide vocabulary. You know lots of words, as well as how to use them. This shows that you are a fairly advanced writer, and people will enjoy reading your works more than others'. Just don't try to flaunt those big words, use them when appropriate and when it flows into the sentences.

Cons:
- The events in your story are too loosely connected. One moment, the fic looks like it's about Twilight chasing after Spike, and the next thing you know, she's stranded and dead. I'm not telling you to take one of these points out and focus on the other. I'm saying that as it stands, they have nearly nothing to do with each other. Make a stronger connection between the two points. Explain to the reader how the events relate to each other. The volcano eruption literally came out of nowhere. You need to either foreshadow/hint at it beforehand, or give readers some more time to react to it by focusing on the eruption's cause.
- You drag on. Some parts of the story have received your meticulous attention on writing them, but they don't really serve a purpose other than to illustrate the scenery. Sad fics are meant to provoke sad emotions. You should focus less on the minor background details and more on the character's state of health, body and mind.
- Sometimes, you don't go into enough detail. The whole event of spike's dragonnapping and the reason the two were on the mountain in the first place is briefly skimmed over, and never spoken of again. This leaves the readers stranded in a foreign environment without a guide to help them figure things out. They just blindly wander through the words, half of them losing their meaning because they were not explained properly.

Notes:
Instead of pointing out the mistakes you made, which would only help you in this short span of two thousand words, I'm going to teach you a life lesson in writing. To you, and to anyone else reading this and has written a story of their own, read through your works once after you've completed writing them. Don't just read it in your mind, read the words out loud. Go slow, treating the writing as a narrative. Pronounce every word as it is written, use every form of emotion indicated, and pause for every single comma, dash, and period. Why? Because it helps you fix things. Not only will this show you where you have made grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes, it will show you why you made them, and how to fix them. Most of all, it will help make your writing flow smoothly and realistically.

Until next time,
Black Lightning

2028285 Thank you for your review! You do indeed point out things I see, too, though most of them have an origin: I went quite far in describing the landscape because this was the very first thing that sparked the idea for this story, and, as you said, the reader gets thrown into an unfamiliar environment--I thought describing it would help. Also, I'm prone to getting depressed upon encountering bleak and lifeless landscapes... I could never live in a city, for instance. Painting that horrible environment added to the hopelessness and despair I wanted to convey, at least to me.

The transition between Twilight's chase and her demise is very, very rough. You are right about that. The volcano is a deus ex machina. I wanted her to end up in this situation but had little ideas how to get her there, guess I did a bad job. Same goes for Spike's dragonnapping. My first idea was to let her wake up in that landscape without any recollection of how she got there, so the dragonnapping only served as a means to make the premise less arbitrary.

Flaunting big words has always been a problem for me, I tried to weed it out wherever I noticed it. Gotta work more on that, it seems, thanks for pointing it out!

I am very concerned that you found that many grammatical mistakes. I had two native English speakers proofread it (more than once), and none of them seems to have found them. Is there anything that's recuring that you might point me to?

I'm so sorry, for I have made a massive blunder. It seems that last night, I subconsciously based my 'grammar score' rating not only the grammar, but heavily influenced on the fluidity of the writing and the overall feel of the story. So heavily influenced, in fact, that On my second reading, it appears to me to be my total average rating of the fic itself (I have no idea what was going through my mind:facehoof:). Your actual grammar score should be a 9/10 (There's always room for improvement). Thank you for letting me notice this; I shall put this knowledge to good use on other reviews.

Just a few of the things I'm talking about, aside from the other points previously listed:

Gray heavens, speckled with dark clouds, bathed the barren, black plains surrounding her in a dim twilight.

Too many commas for my liking. Unnecessary commas mean unnecessary pauses, which makes the writing awkward to read.

Her and Spike, exploring the mountaintop where the big dragon had slept.

'Her and Spike' doesn't sound right. The phrasing needs to flow more smoothly.

They would find Spike, she was sure they would not rest till they had, they were a persistent lot.

Second comma should be a semicolon.

Okay, I usually do full length reviews on these, but this guy -2028285- has done a fine job of that.

So here's a few things I noticed:
- You have great confindence in your writing.
- I noticed very minimal writing errors.
- Your atmospheric descriptions are quite vivid.
- And, you have a good understanding of the development of character.

Now before I go into more detail, a disclaimer, I am at the very same stage as you, the only difference is, I have a great author to whom I can go to for help.

I believe that you have what it takes to get featured here. But, as Black Lightning said, you need to link your events within the chapter. I am going to shamelessly recommend my story, The Value of Detail. In it I focus on this style of writing in the first chapter, Sunset. I strongly suggest you read it, and observe how I write it.

Another very good example of this style of writing is, A Portrait of Hope by the author Syn3rgy. He is very good at what he does, and he is the author who is helping me out. Send him a message and I'm sure he'd be happy to hook you up.

One last thing. Heed Black Lightning's advice when he tells you to read your story out loud. It really does help. Good Luck!

Pax Vobiscum

The General

2030026 Man, you had me real worried there for a moment. Thanks for clearing it up. ^^

Thanks for your examples on where I could improve. Your second and third example speak for themselves, though I do not know whether I could omit any of the commas in the first example without making it grammatically wrong. I could, of course, break the information into two sentences, but that could make for tedious reading, too.

2030049 Thank you for your comment and recommendations. I will have a look at the stories you mentioned. I have read Syn3rgy's offer on his blog, and if I keep struggling with the issue, I shall consider taking a lesson.

Hey, cheezesauce from WRITE here, captain of the cheese troopers and commander of the cheese battalion. Let's begin.

The story has a clean, straightforward synopsis that is not exceptionally engaging but serves its purpose well. Given how short this story is, I’m okay with it.

Edit: Well, that was what I typed before reading the story. Now however, I think it needs improvement. The main conflict implied is Twilight attempting to save Spike in a rescue mission. I’d jump into the story expecting something about Twilight devising a plan, overcoming his evil dragonnappers, and end up in a sweet reunion. Or maybe her hopes would be crushed by terrible turn of events, given the [Sad] tag of this story. What I was definitely not expecting was thousands of words about Twilight escaping a lava flow. It wasn’t an impressive twist, mind you.

---

What follows is a list of selected errors and other unsatisfactory bits present in your writing, along with my suggested solutions.

Gray heavens, speckled with dark clouds, bathed the barren, black plains surrounding her in a dim twilight.

Twilight Definition: the soft, diffused light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, either from daybreak to sunrise or, more commonly, from sunset to nightfall.
[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/twilight?s=t]

What you’ve described fits a looming storm better, and so the description appears to be in contrast with itself. “Gray heavens and dark clouds” do not reinforce the idea of “Twilight”.

Her and Spike

You either say ‘Spike and her’ or ‘She and Spike’. This was already pointed out by 2030026.

Before her closed eyes

Use ‘Behind her eyes’. ‘Before’ implies that her eyes are opened.

laughing at Twilight's desperate shouts

I’m finding it difficult to picture this.

Tardy again, Twilight.

This is not the tone you want to convey along with Spike being dragonnapped. I’d add in some description of Spike screaming out for her.

She groaned in anger

Groaned in frustration/misery, growled in anger. Actually, I like to see fear here instead. It packs more of a punch and draws out emotion better.

Her and Spike, exploring the mountaintop where the big dragon had slept. Another dragon, swooping down towards them, grabbing Spike in its big, ugly claws. The dragon, flying away again, laughing at Twilight's desperate shouts. Within seconds, he had been out of reach of her magic—how could she have been so slow? Tardy again, Twilight.

This paragraph is just a cold and hard reveal. Though it pushes the plot on efficiently, it takes away all suspense of build-up in doing so.

to a disoriented and bedazzled Twilight

You’re shifting in perspective here. This is written in 3rd person omniscient. The rest of your story is written in 3rd person limited, specifically, Twilight’s point of view. You have to change this into Twilight’s POV for it to fit. Amazingly, this can be done simply by swapping ‘a’ to ‘the’, though it would still be a little sloppy.

still looking in disbelief at the lava running down
she looked transfixed at the approaching mass.

Repetition. Avoid doing this as much as possible.

Teleportation? She had never heard of anyone teleporting over long distances before, and she doubt she would be the first one to pull it off.

I’m feeling a little sceptical about this, given how easily she teleports in the canon. Also, she only needs to teleport just far enough to be able to outrun the lava, which isn’t very far at all. I think this would take far less effort than conjuring a whole monsoon, anyway.

gloomy glow of the lava

Shouldn’t lava be fiery and blazing hot instead? Since it’s like... thousands of degrees hot and stuff? Also, mention it rising up her platform to show the urgency of the situation. Or have a spray of lava land inches away from her and burn up in a patch of sizzling slop. Just make it feel more exciting while she struggles with her limited options, you know?

Edit: You’ve eventually shown that, but a little too late.

had anyone watched

anypony

Finally, she had to admit defeat. It felt like a punch in the stomach. Wobbly on her hooves, she realized she would not be able to save herself.

What? Twilight would never be so dense! She would never her hooves up in defeat and resign to her fate to an inanimate river of molten rock (which I will note as being much less threatening than other dangers she has overcome before [cheeselegs insect queen, a god of chaos, garguantan hydras]) At the very least, I’d expect her to end up doing something in a last ditch effort.

Also, the realization that of imminent death doesn’t simply come with “a punch in the stomach”. Pony, it’s gonna full on panicked madness and jumping around!


Aaand here comes the big issue with your story. I mean big, big issue.

Twilight, after realizing that her time is short and that she is almost certainly going to die, miraculously still has time to perform the following:

- Wonder if a passing pegasus would be able to save her
- List the reasons why her friends would NOT be able to save her
- Look around
- Rummage through her saddlebags (which were not even mentioned earlier in the story)
- Drink from her bottle
Justify why she finished all the water in her bottle
- Throw the bottle into her saddlebags, realize the bottle smashed a pot of ink, which leads her to discover a wooden box, which she miraculously has time to examine.
- Think about herself
- Think about Shining Armor
- Think about Princess Celestia
- Think about Spike
- Think about her friends
- Think about some more about herself.

Yes, I think I have a very big issue with the time stretch here. There is a ridiculously amount time for Twilight to think and fret over here, and we will see that this continues until the story ends. It breaks immersion, thus making the whole story feel forced. Needless to say, there is no sadness to speak of.

2028285:
-You drag on.

Read it. Read it and internalize it and memorize it. And then read it again for good measure.

A large bubble of lava popped close to her, sprinkling her in glowing blobs of hot stone.

I think you’re underplaying being sprinkled with drops of lava here. It should be really, hair-ripping, nerve-wreckingly painful. This isn’t the same as touching the bits of amber you see glowing at the bottom of a barbeque pit. This is rock, heated to thousands of degrees till it passes its melting point and becomes a liquid. One drop of that would burn an inch of her flesh, and that is going to hurt.

Mechanics and grammar appear to be sound for the most part, as touched upon by 2030049 and 2028285. It is the basics of story writing, and people should be getting it right. Your writing style, however, tends to be a little dull at times. It could do with more similes or metaphors.

If I were to write this story, I’d do it from a first person perspective, meaning that ‘I’ am telling the story as the narrator. (I did this. I walked along the street, etc. Instead of: he did that. Twilight trotted down the street.)

Writing from this perspective would allow me to bring out the thoughts and emotions of the main character easily, because everything is being told from subjective viewpoint. It lets me throw in short and sharp sentences, and even sentence fragments. Third person writing, on the other hand, has the advantage of portraying multiple character interactions (which you do not have) as well as frequent scene changes, but it is not without the risk of distancing readers from the characters. That being said, what’s done is done. You can still pull off a great ‘solo-character’ fic with third person writing.

Hmm, I keep doing reviews that are about a chapter long. That should be about it. I hope that some of the stuff I've said proves to be useful.

--cheezesauce, WRITE’s perpetual underground lurker.

fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/349/4/b/reviewer_logo_longver03_01_by_burrakupansa-d5o60h2.png




Edit: OH YES! Oh yes yes yes, heaven forbid that I forget to mention this again. Your main conflict in the synopsis is about Twilight trying to save Spike. You either change the synopsis to suit the story, or you change the story to suit the synopsis. Do it, and do it soon, because it’s an utter mismatch at the moment.

2079092 Wow. Thank you for your review, it's very thorough and addresses many topics; I really appreciate this.

I'm sorry the story did not work for you at all. What you address as the big issue is actually the core of the story for me: I wanted to get her into a situation that allowed her to linger on these thoughts. Then, I had that picture of a volcanic landscape and tried to mix the two together... guess they didn't mix all that well. I probably should have gone for a less imminent-danger situation. Changing one of the two would mean a completely different story; I'll have to contemplate this.

I drag on. Memorized. I fear I won't be able to help it during first drafts, but I'll resolve to wielding the cutter more brutishly during rewrite.

I don't have anything to comment to your other criticisms other than: You're right. Had it not been my own writing, or had I heeded 2028285's advice prior to publication, or were I more skilled at English, I might have found them myself.

I'll keep these things in mind for future stories and work hard. Thanks for helping me improve.

Cloudwalking+summon cloud+sit on cloud+create updraft=float to safety.

2163187 That's quite a nice proposal. The environment had however already proven to be unimpaired by Twilight's weather magic, so I doubt this would have worked. :raritywink:

2163900

That is why everything is indirect. She can form a cloud and has. Cloudwalking is easy enough for her. Getting the updraft is easy because you aren't changing the environment (the lava) you are essentially providing a fuel to make the heat conveyed more into the air causing the gradients necessary to have an updraft (again she is smart enough to figure that out).

2163940 Wow, that is quite ingenious, and you're right, Twilight probably would have thought of it. I did not, though. If you want to write an alternate ending, you're most welcome. I always wondered what happened to Spike, but never could find out with my end of the story.

I'll also have to think of deadlier challenges for Twilight on future occasions, thanks for pointing that out. She's one tough pony.

Congratulations. This story has good enough grammar to be added to the Good Grammar Directory, a comprehensive directory of grammatically correct stories on FIMFiction.

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